Chennaiyin FC and Atletico de Kolkata go into Indian Super League 2015 as two of the pre-tournament favourites, and with that comes pressure. So, step up then the big players of the two ISL sides.
Below is a look at the key players who could and should change the game for their respective teams in the opening match of ISL 2015, to be played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Saturday.
Chennaiyin FC: Elano: The obvious choice. The Brazilian does hold the key to Chennaiyin's fortunes this season. While the team did reasonably well in Elano's injury-enforced absence last year, Marco Materazzi will be praying the former Manchester City man stays fit for the entire length of ISL 2015.
On his day, Elano has the ability to unlock any defence, be that with his vision or setpiece skills, and the key aspect for Atletico de Kolkata on Saturday, will be to not concede freekicks in dangerous areas.
Fikru Teferra: The man who scored the first ever goal in ISL history has shifted teams this season. Fikru was a revelation in the early part of ISL 2014, before injury slowed down the Ethiopian striker's momentum. With a new team and plenty to prove this season, what better way to make his mark on ISL 2015 than with a goal (or two) against his former team.
Harmanjot Khabra: When asked to name a player who could make the biggest impact this season, Chennaiyin FC coach Marco Materazzi picked Khabra, a player, according to the manager, capable of playing in Italy. That is indeed high praise, and it will be interesting to see how Khabra gets along this season. A strong start against Atletico de Kolkata will be a good beginning.
Atletico de Kolkata: Borja Fernandez: He was the conductor of the midfield for ATK last season, and Antonio Lopez Habas will know the importance of Borja controlling the centre of the park again. If Borja is allowed to dictate the pace of play on Saturday, Chennaiyin will be in deep trouble.
Helder Postiga and Iain Hume: Habas has two really top-quality strikers in his squad this season. It remains to be seen if the manager will use them together, or only one at a time. However, with Postiga looking fit and ready, you feel it will be the Portugal international who starts, if Habas goes with the one striker formation.
Having come to India as the marquee player of the reigning champions, there is a lot of pressure on Postiga, and that pressure could be eased considerably with a maiden ISL goal on Saturday.
Rino Anto: Bought for a pretty penny in the ISL auctions, the on-loan defender from Bengaluru FC will be expected to live up to the billing. Atletico have a decent squad of Indian players, so also expect Syed Rahim Nabi and Arata Izumi to make an impact in this first match, if given an opportunity.